Chapter 1 Introduction
- Contents of the book [link]
- What emergency drugs should be kept in dental practices? [link]
- What equipment should be stocked for management of medical emergencies? [link]
The management of medical emergencies is an area that frequently arouses feelings of panic amongst members of the dental profession. Such feelings are often the result of fear of the unknown. Fortunately, as is described in Chapter 2, the incidence of medical emergencies in the dental setting is extremely small. However, this brings its own problems, as the chances of anyone in the dental team having encountered any of the emergencies is likewise small. There is therefore little opportunity to draw on the experience of others to help with the management of medical problems.
The requirement of effective preparation is thus increased because of the rarity of such events. This is emphasized by the General Dental Council, who stated in the 2001 version of Maintaining Standards1 that the whole of the dental team should practice the management of simulated medical emergencies, against the clock, on a regular basis. Although this document has now been superseded by Standards for Dental Professionals2, the duty of care which a dentist and their team accept when treating a patient should include not only the management of the complications of that treatment but also the management of medical incidents within the dental environment. The recent increased availability of automated external defibrillators in some retail shops and railway stations means that there is a greater expectation on the dental profession to provide trained help.
This text aims to provide an easy-to-use guide that will take the reader through the main diagnostic features and principles of management of the medical incidents that are seen most commonly within the practice of dentistry.
The main intention of this book is to ensure that the basics of management of medical emergencies are carried out to a high standard.